KARACHI: After keeping the price of milk at Rs200 per litre for about eight months, the commissioner of Karachi has finally succumbed to the pressure of wholesalers and dairy farmers and pushed up the official rate of fresh milk by Rs20 per litre to Rs220.

Prior to that, a number of retailers already raised the rate to Rs210-220 from Rs200 per litre, citing procurement of the product at higher rates from the wholesale market.

Several retailers had also tried to put pressure on the commissioner by closing the sale of loose milk after 9:00pm.

They claimed they were unable to sell the product after procuring it at higher rates from the wholesale market amid high consumption, as a result of rising usage of lassi, ice cream, kulfi and other dairy products.

Consumers believe that the wholesalers, dairy farmers and retailers always unite together to raise the prices in markets and then force the commissioner to increase the price, which they have again succeeded in.

As per the new notification issued on June 13, milk rates at the stages of dairy farmers, wholesalers and retailers have been fixed at Rs195, Rs205 and Rs220 per litre, respectively.

Defending the price hike, the spokesperson for the All Karachi Milk Retailers and Welfare Association Waheed Gaddi ruled out any setting, underhand plotting or wrongdoing with the price regulator over the fixing of new rates.

Consumers’ protection bodies, which have never played any significant role in protecting consumers’ interest, have also given the green signal for the new prices of milk, he claimed.

Gaddi said all stakeholders had signed an affidavit committing not to raise any demand for another hike till December 31 2024.

They said they would strictly follow the notified prices and display the rates at shops, ensuring quality with no mixing and adulteration in the city especially at Lea Milk Market and pledging to inform the district administration in identifying violators of the above-mentioned conditions.

Earlier in October 2023, the city administration had increased the official price of milk from Rs180 to Rs200 per litre.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2024

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